Deaths from drug overdoses have climbed to the highest level ever, Elizabeth Tracey reports

July 26, 2021

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Deaths from drug overdoses topped 92,000 over the previous twelve months, the CDC has reported. Eric Strain, a substance use disorders expert at Johns Hopkins, says the vast majority of those deaths were due to opioids.

Strain: That’s a dramatic increase over 2019 when it was about 51,000. It’s an 18,000 increase in opiate overdoses. Methamphetamine overdoses are increasing. There’s a lot of thought that those seem to be combinations of opioids and stimulants like methamphetamine and cocaine. We can’t fully attribute this to opioids. We need to keep in mind that there’s poly drug use going on and there’s a lot of poly drug use. It’s probably more poly drug use that just a single drug abuse.  :33

Strain says poly drug use can complicate efforts resuscitation efforts because rescuers may not know which agent or combination of agents to use. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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